WDW DAS changes starting May 20, 2024 & Disneyland June 18, 2024 Updated 6/25

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SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
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Aug 23, 1999
Reminders about DAS:
  • DAS began at WDW and Disneyland in late 2013 to replace the previous disability access service GAC (Guest Assistance Card)
  • DAS was always meant to be a re-registration, with questions asked, not a renewal. Having had it was not a guarantee it would be approved each time. (This is per Guest Relations CM, including Cheshire Figment who was a Guest Relations CM and a Moderator here who is now deceased)
  • DAS Advanced Video Registration began October 19, 2021 for WDW and December 8, 2021 for Disneyland. Before that, DAS registration was only available in person after arrival.
Suggestions:
  • If you are not going to DISNEYLAND in the next week, wait a while to register. After each of the previous changes, it took a week or 2 for things to settle down
  • When talking to the CM, the main question to keep in mind is - What are my concerns with waiting in the regular lines? Not the diagnosis or the symptoms - some people with the same diagnosis or symptoms may not have concerns with waiting in lines; others will. What are YOU concerned with ?
  • Be prepared that the CM may ask further questions or ask for clarification
WHAT WE KNOW AT THIS POINT/ POSTED ON DISNEY WEBSITES

The first dates ALL people doing Advance Video Registration are under NEW RULES would be May 20 for WDW and June 18 for DL.
CURRENTLY CONFIRMED INFORMATION
  • updated process for Accessibility Services conversations began May 20 for WDW and June 18 for DL
  • After new program date, DAS is valid for the length of the ticket or up to 120 days, whichever is shorter. Once the service has elapsed, Guests need to re-register for the program.
  • Registration will be WITHIN 30 days before visit.
  • Registration will be by video call with Disney CMs either in advance or in park
  • ADDED 6/20: FOR DL ONLY: there will be an in person live option at the park; first little building as you enter through Harbor security. This Accessibility Services Kiosk does more than just the DAS interviews. According to the Disneyland website, this is also where guests will rent/borrow handheld devices hearing disabilities and braille resources for vision disabilities as well as obtaining a stroller-as-wheelchair tag.
  • DAS registration and administration will no longer be part of Guest Relations Department. It will be under a NEW Accessibility Services Department made up of Disney CMs
  • In this video discussion, health care professionals may be available, if needed, to help determine appropriate accommodations.
  • Guests will not be asked for medical documentation
  • For the video chat
    • Guests using a mobile device or tablet will need to download the Zoom application to connect to the video chat.
    • Video chat is screen reader-friendly for Guests with visual disabilities and available with text chat for Guests with hearing disabilities.

  • 'traditional DAS' (including DAS Return Times) will be "limited to guests who, due to developmental disabilities like autism or similar, are unable to wait in conventional lines for an extended period of time."
  • Guests on Wish trips will continue to be covered under their current program which is separate from DAS
  • Need to wait 10 minutes after scanning into current DAS Return attraction (2nd tap point) to make another
CURRENT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONFIRMED:
  • Party size limited to 4 total for non-related persons. Exceptions will reportedly made for 'immediate family', but not clear exactly what this means
  • Other accommodations will be offered on an individual basis, based on needs.
  • The websites suggest using Rider Switch, planning with the FREE Genie service
  • PAID Genie+ is an option available to all guests; it is NOT an accommodation
  • DAS Advance Selections will not be offered; MAY possibly be offered as an additional accommodation for a small number of guests with extensive needs
The WDW website added some additional information about using the free Genie service:
"Disney Genie service is a program available to all Guests.
Our complimentary Disney Genie service helps you enjoy more of the magic during your theme park visit with 2 easy-to-use features.
The My Day feature lets you see your booked theme park plans for the day in one place. Plus, get personalized recommendations customized to your preferences.
The Tip Board lets you view estimated wait times, order food, make dining reservations and request to join an available virtual queue."


The Disneyland website also added more information about the free Genie program:
"Disney Genie Service is a program available to all Guests.
Our complimentary Disney Genie service creates your best Disney day inspired by your top interests. It also grants you planning features, including a personalized itinerary creator. It will save you time by seamlessly mapping out your day, with updates that continue from morning to night—just like a favorite navigation app. You’ll receive attraction and dining recommendations inspired by what you told Disney Genie service you’re most interested in doing and seeing.

The “My Day” tab is where you’ll find Disney Genie recommendations and plans you’ve made, including dining reservations and Disneyland Resort hotel reservations. It will begin populating at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit.

The “Tip Board” lets you view estimated wait times, order food, make dining reservations and request to join an available virtual queue.

Genie+ Service and Individual Lightening Lanes are available for purchase to enhance the complimentary tools."


If you are doing advance video registration and want to report here, please include:
  • Which park?
  • Does your trip start before or after the 'new rules' date? If before, are all the days of your trip before?
  • What kind of tickets? Did your ticket type require park reservations? Only date based tickets don't require reservations
  • Does the person you did registration for fit into the category of developmental disability (autism or similar) that is listed on the website or some other issues/concerns with waiting in the regular lines? REMINDER: don't post specific diagnosis, symptoms or conditions, just 'yes' or 'other'
  • Did the person end up registered for DAS or other accommodations? If other accommodations, do they sound like they will meet the needs?

Disney has indicated they will be doing individual assessments and accommodations based on needs/concerns related to waiting in the regular lines. Pretty much every condition/diagnosis has a spectrum - some have many needs. Some have very few needs.

This means MAY NOT give everyone with the same condition/concern the same accommodations.

Disney MAY NOT publish exactly how other accommodations will work or what exact accommodations will be given for which needs. They MAY (hopefully will) have kind of a 'cookbook' of accommodations they can pull additional from to meet individual needs
 
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Added to the WDW website on 5/20/2024:

Attraction Queue Re-Entry​

There may be times when a Guest must briefly step out of the standby line and then rejoin their party in the line. Every location has a defined process to support this option based on a person’s disability while the rest of the party remains in line.
How to Use Queue Re-entry
Speak to a Cast member at the location for directions on how to re-enter the queue.
  1. A Cast Member will provide details about how to exit the queue and how to navigate back to your party.
  2. While the Guest who must leave the line is briefly away, the rest of the party will remain in line.
  3. The Guest reunites with their party to ride the attraction.
Note: Guests must meet boarding requirements to ride.


Also, Rider Switch information appears to be modified on the WDW website as of 5/20/2024, suggesting it can be used with someone who has a disability who will not be riding to allow the rest of the party to ride:

Rider Switch​

Rider switch is a program available to all Guests. With Rider Switch, Guests can wait with member(s) of their party who aren’t riding due to any of the reasons listed below. Once the first Guest returns the waiting Guest can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again!

Rider Switch is available for Guests who meet one of the following:
  • Does not meet the boarding requirements
  • Has a service animal that cannot board the attraction or does not want to use a provided kennel
  • Meets boarding requirement and does not want to ride but cannot wait outside queue on their own
Rider Switch is available at most attractions throughout Walt Disney World Resort.


An updated WDW Accessibility Planning Guide & Recommendations has been posted, dated 5/20/2024.


SENSORY EXPERIENCE DETAILS

A new document to help guests plan is the Sensory Experience Details. It covers these items for each attraction, show, parade, fireworks, etc. at WDW - including all 4 theme parks and Disney Springs:
1718586348108.png

Similar is also posted for Disneyland and California Adventure Sensory Experience Details.
 
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RTQ (or return to queue)

This is much-discussed but not has not been clarified by Disney at this time. What Disney CMs have said on video chats is to speak with a CM at the attraction entrance.

It may be an option for return after leaving a queue, or it may be an option offered by a CM if asked before entering a queue, or it may not be available at a given attraction at a given time or for a particular need.

It may be offered for solo guests, or parties of a single adult with small children, or an adult who requires assistance from the other adult to deal with the disability need. There may be other times it gets used.

It might be for specific needs that aren't always present -- such as waiting in the shade.

If more information is shared we will post it.
 
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Location Return Time information: DISNEYLAND PARK

A Location Return Time may be issued at select Disneyland Park attractions. This program is intended to accommodate persons with mobility devices or other physical restrictions who are unable to negotiate some of our older queues which may not be wheelchair accessible.

Location Return Times may be available for Guests who:
  • Utilize a mobility device such as a wheelchair or ECV
  • Are unable to navigate stairs, steep ramps, turnstiles or low lighting
  • Require assistance navigating narrow walkways with a sighted guide or a service animal
How to Use Location Return Times
Speak to a Cast Member at the attraction
  1. A Cast Member will assist in assigning a return time that is comparable to the current standby wait
  2. A Cast Member provides directions on where to return to
  3. Guest returns at the designated time to the auxiliary entry location
Location Return Times are not offered in Disney California Adventure Park. The following experiences in Disneyland Park offer Location Return Times:
 
ACROYNMS
There have been a lot of acronyms floating around this site and other social media related to disability offerings. Here is a summary - if I've missed something feel free to ask and I'll add it.

I believe the only "official" acronym is DAS, which stands for Disability Access Service. Disney defines it as one of our programs offered at the theme parks intended to accommodate those Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.

Other acronyms are more social media shorthand:

AQR = Attraction Queue Re-entry; there may be times when a Guest must briefly step out of the standby queue and then rejoin their party. Every attraction has a defined process to support this option based on a person’s disability while the rest of the party remains in the queue.

RS = Rider Switch (or Rider Swap); Guests can wait with member(s) of their party who aren’t riding due to any of the reasons listed. Once the first Guest returns the waiting Guest can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again.

LRT = Location Return Time (aka wheelchair return time); This program is intended to accommodate persons with mobility devices or other physical restrictions who are unable to negotiate some of our older queues which may not be wheelchair accessible. note this is only referenced at DL not WDW

SAW = stroller-as-wheelchair; This tag allows a Guest to treat their stroller as a wheelchair and keep their device with them in attraction queues.

More details about the above offerings can be found on the Disneyland website or the Walt Disney World website.

RTQ = return to queue -- this is not an official disability offering, though social media frequently uses this term/acronym. Often it refers to what Disney calls Attraction Queue Re-entry, but sometimes it's intended more like the Location Return Time.
 
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